By Olimatou Coker
Sass Cosmetology and Skills Training Academy last weekend graduated its fifth batch of 37 students at a ceremony at Paradise Suites Hotel.
The school was set up to train young Gambians in diverse cosmetology skills with a mission to promote excellence and self-employment.
Thirty five of the graduates studied hairdressing, beauty cosmetology and make-up.
Adam Touray-Bah, the director and the proprietress of the institution, said vocational and skills training play a very important role in providing and preparing the youths, especially girls and young women, with life skills that will economically empower them thereby fulfilling the primary objective of increasing employment and earnings.
She added that undergoing such programmes of study can also indirectly bring about positive behavioural changes and provide spillover benefits for the families and communities of these young women.
“Not all of us are meant to sit in an office pushing paper, not all of us are meant to have university degrees. However, all of us have a very important role to play in national development. We are aware that young people between the ages of 15 and 29 years of age make up about a quarter of the world’s population, yet they constitute almost half of the world’s unemployed,” she pointed out.
However, Director Touray-Bah advised graduates to prepare for the beginning of the rest of their lives, saying that everything is possible when they believe in Allah and also believe in themselves.
“A career is like a mattress, you spend a third of your life on it, so make sure it’s comfortable. Take it from me, if you love your job, you will never work a day in your life because it will feel like a hobby”, she stated.
She added that, the graduates are entering into a creative industry and urged them to foster their creativity.
“My final advice is don’t quit, never quit. If you have been blessed with such a creative skill, do not give up on it. It doesn’t matter how hard it is. The one way to guarantee you are not going to be successful at something is to give up on it. yes, some dreams are harder to achieve than others,” she exhorted.
Fanta Ceesay, the master of the ceremony at the occasion, said SASS Cosmetology and Skills Training Academy is a gateway to growth, and women empowerment in the country.
Haddy Njie of Senegalo-GambianWomen Association, advised the graduates to make the best use of the skills they were taught at SASS.
She also discouraged them from embarking on the dangerous backway journey, saying that they can make it here in the country without imperiling their lives in the desert or sea.
Aminata Ceesay, the guest speaker, urged the graduates to believe in themselves and to keep on learning more since skills. She encouraged them to be passionate in what ever they do to be successful in life.“You cannot be successful without working hard toward your success,”she said.